Planning application publicity - code of practice

This code of practice sets out the way we publicise planning applications. It also explains how you can comment on applications and the way in which these are considered.

Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 requires that all planning applications should have some form of publicity. At the moment, all planning applications are publicised by the display of a site notice. Some applications will require an advert in a local newspaper.

Our code of practice

When publicising planning applications, we will:

  •  Display a site notice in at least one place on or near the land to which the application relates for not less than 21 days.

When statutorily required, we will display a site notice in at least one place on or near the land to which the application relates for not less than 21 days, and publicise the application in a local newspaper, notifying the public that they have 21 days in which to make comments.

We seek to identify appropriate placement of our notices by:

  • Reference to an up-to-date Ordnance Survey plan of the application site and surrounding area when the application is being checked for validity
  • Officer site visits during the course of processing the application

Each case is assessed on its own merits and decisions about publicity remains a matter of discretion for individual officers.

Anyone interested in an application proposal is able to write to us with their views quoting the reference number.  You can find this by searching our website or from a site or press notice.

We may give major proposals further publicity via press releases and/or public exhibitions.

You can submit your comments online under the application reference number, also please see our frequently asked questions for further information on making your comments.

Dealing with consultation responses

Anyone writing to us with a comment on a planning application will:

The decision notice will set out any conditions imposed on a planning permission, or state the reasons for refusal where planning permission is not granted. The decision notice can be viewed under the application reference on our website. 

Pre-application community engagement protocol

Before submission of an application, particularly for larger proposals, we encourage landowners/developers to carry out pre-application consultations with neighbours and the wider community. This is not mandatory, but is considered best practice and something that is set out in the our Statement of Community Involvement which forms part of the Local Development Framework

The level of community engagement will vary for different types of development, ranging from talking to neighbours about a house extension to consulting the wider community where, for example, a housing development or retail store is proposed. We will advise landowners/developers on the matter although the decision to carry out pre-application consultations is ultimately one for the landowner/developer.

Pre-application presentations to members

Sometimes formal presentations will be made to councillors. These provide an opportunity for landowners/developers to explain how a scheme has evolved and how community engagement has helped shape a proposal. You can attend these presentations to listen to what is said. Public questions cannot be raised during presentations. Any queries can be sent to us.

General advice

Your comments must be based on planning grounds and provided to us in writing. If you decide to make comments on an application why not use the saved search and track applications functions available through our Public Access system.